The Trillium plant is widespread across the northern parts of the US and in Canada. A plant that consists of around 50 different species, the Trillium is also protected in certain states from being damaged, picked or transported from public lands. Also, there are innumerable local trillium laws that may pertain to the how the Trillium can be handled by the public.
While Trillium can be found across North America, especially the upper US and Canada as well as in Asia. The Trillium is the official wildflower of Ohio and they are also rare and fragile enough that several states have passed trillium laws making it illegal to pick or transplant Trillium from public lands without a state permit. This is because picking the bracts off the Trillium greatly damages the plant and it may take years for it to fully recover.
In the Ontario province, the rare Trillium flexipes or “Drooping Trillium” is protected by law, however the more common “White” Trillium is only protected on parks and certain lands owned by conservation organizations. Plus, they are the official symbol of the Province of Ontario. In the US, certain states have trillium laws against intentionally damaging or digging up and transporting trilliums.
Trilliums are a rather difficult plant to transport as their roots can extent for nearly a foot or even more in some cases. This makes Trilliums difficult to remove without damaging the plant and can make transportation and replanting the plant problematic. Here are a few states that have laws governing the removal and transportation of Trilliums.
State trillium laws in Minnesota prevent you from digging up trilliums and sell them on the open market. You cannot remove trilliums from public land or another person’s property without the owner’s consent. Furthermore, in some cases the owner’s consent must be in written form most likely due for court purposes in order to protect both the landowner and those interested in removing trilliums. However, you can dig up trilliums on your own property legally.
The trillium laws in Wisconsin are very similar to Minnesota, it is illegal to dig up, intentionally damage or remove Trilliums from public land or private land without the owner’s written consent. This law not only covers all species of Trilliums but other rare wildflowers that grow in the state. Interestingly, this law was passed back in 1923 to help protect the natural wildflowers of the state.
As with Minnesota, Vermont law prevents the digging up, intentionally damaging or transporting Trilliums from public property. You also need owner consent to remove Trilliums from their property and Trilliums themselves cannot be purchased unless it’s from a license dealer. As with other states, you can grow and transport Trilliums on your own property.
Other states such as New York and Michigan have laws protecting Trilliums, be sure to consult with your local trillium laws to see if the removal of Trilliums from public property is allowed. Otherwise, you will probably have to settle for local licensed dealers who have Trillium plants for sale.